Storytelling can spark a personal cord within a consumer, as it is the “interactive art of using words and actions to reveal the elements and images of a story while encouraging the listener’s imagination.”(Storytelling.design, 2018). In both a visual and personal sense, consumers can be intrigued by a designer and their work. Visually stimulated by the work, as it can bring back personal memories. Storytelling can also bring the consumer on the artist’s own journey, through the body of work that they have produced. Whereas, prototyping more inherently works directly with, and based around, consumers in order to create a product. Prototyping insures that the best model for the product is made. Designing with people in mind insures that the product will have a personal connection.
Design can be somewhat personal to the user, or viewer of a product. This personal element felt towards design is undeniably important. When a piece of design sparks a cord within you, it can lift spirits and makes you feel special. Serious importance should be placed on “the excitement that comes when something touches a chord, reawakens the memory, or pleases the eye” (Conran, 2002). This experience also highlights the importance of “aesthetic and spiritual dimension” (Conran, 2002).
‘Transitions’ by Mickael Boulay, a project which won the BRAINS Award in 2011, was created in collaboration with a physiotherapist in order to assist in everyday living. These cutlery sets aid the development of impaired motor skills by working through a series of steps. The steps range from “organic objects” (designboom, 2018) which are easier to hold, and then onto refined shapes. The project description titled, ‘Can we grow the motricity of a disabled hand step by step?’, shows that the designer is working towards bettering the things which surround us. A designer should not only strive to better living, in terms of function, appearance, cost and material, but “also in terms of aspiration and desire, in the dream of how life might be.” (Conran, 2002). I believe that, ’Trans- itions’ perfectly illustrates this ideal.
Prototyping and storytelling link together in the design process, as prototyping is a unique tool which can be used in order to tell the story of your work. Engaging the consumer with preliminary ideas for a final product can show the designer the narrative of their product.
A major part of story telling, especially for textile designers, is shown through the materials and processes we use. I think storytelling on the basic level of changing what materials designers use, and why, is critical in showcasing the change of time and development for that particular de- signer. Textile designers often change or modify their processes, an example being the current environmental strain. These decisions become a part of a unique design journey. This decision identifies the artists passions, and inevitably makes for a more personal connection with consumers. These are small moments, where in designers are taking action and affecting the world around them. Designers who have the ability to coherently describe their personal process, have created a “compelling reason for collectors and admirers to invest in their work” (Artrepreneur, 2018).
Storytelling can also be imbedded throughout designers work, used as a tool to physically tell stories through the chosen medium. This idea is highlighted in Dear Data, a “personal documentary” of two information designers. The way in which both Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, could figure out an illustrative way to be both personal and intriguing, in order for their partner to ponder the information they received, highlights the importance of storytelling in their work. This process in itself makes a personal connection with consumers, as Dear Data shows how differently story telling can be interpreted. By “spending the week noticing” (Dear Data, 2018) and telling a little story of every day, the artists became more personally aware of surroundings, taking time to reflect for themselves. This use of self reflection, as a designer, is incredibly important as we should be processing the information that circles around us daily. Dear Data has inspired me to be more thoughtful about my own processes.
Story telling can also be taken in a literal sense, taking stories off the pages of a book and translating them onto textiles. “Confessions and the Sense of Self” are works by Noël Palomo-Lovinski. It is a project which highlights the use of storytelling translating into a textile product. The project started after Palomo-Lovinski noticed that public confessions had “become increasingly popular in our society as an outlet for individuals to expunge guilt, share personal tragedy, or express secret desires” (Kent.edu, 2018). She took quotes from confessional websites, as the bases for a